Under The Covers Book Reviews – review The Heartbreaker

Huge shout out to Under The Covers Book Reviews for this fantastic review. I’m blown away.

Here’s the review in full:

If you love short stories, particularly of the horror or dark fantasy varieties, Mark Young should absolutely be your go-to author. 

I’ve had the honor and privilege of contributing stories to two of the same books as Mark…so I already knew I loved his writing. I swear, I think I could pick out his work from hundreds of other writers. His voice is distinctive and he has a lovely style I adore. He is definitely a rising star in the horror genre. 

As a side note, he also has a beautiful voice and accent…I want to pay him to read to me all day long. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ–ค

The Heartbreaker: 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories, as the title states, has thirteen amazing stories, ranging from classic vampire tales, to government experimentation, to bullies who get their comeuppance. 

Here is a brief description of each of the stories included: 

The Heartbreaker – A brilliantly written story about a military man with special gifts…gifts which his government is abusing. It’s a very satisfying, highly plausible story. And terrifying…did I mention terrifying? 

Black Mist – A young girl, abused by her step-father, makes a life-altering decision. This story had a Needful Things vibe to me, and I absolutely loved it. 

Curse of the Dreamweaver – A rich, famous, good-looking athlete ruins his life by drunk-driving…and then some. This was one of my favorites…I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. 

The Artist – An actress meets an artist…and then weird things begin happening. This was a super cool, creative premise. 

Let’s Not Talk About Kevin – A young boy is locked away by his parents…but why? This is a quick, entertaining story. I would have liked a bit more background about what happened to Kevin and his sibling…but I still really enjoyed his thoughts. 

Heavenly Waters – I love sea creature stories…and this one was epic. What if you were out fishing and found THIS in the water? I think most women will find a guilty satisfaction while reading this short. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Good Boy – A man whose young son disappeared years before…might have new information about his whereabouts. This was so well-written, and, reading as a parent, so heartbreaking. I love how Mark can bring out such an array of emotions.

Living With Your Parents Can Be Murder – What happens when you move back in with your parents at age 42? Nothing good, I’d imagine. This story gave me a good chuckle. 

The Vanished – Something about this story screamed Dean Koontz to me. A massive storm hits, and a boy’s one wish comes true…much to his detriment. A special shout out to Wolf, the best character ever! 

The Unforgiving – A man, whose son is being bullied, is forced to confront his past. And it’s not pretty. This was deliciously evil and heartbreaking all at once. 

Gone – A man is bitten by a mosquito…or is he? This story is gory, weird, and brutal…and I loved every zany minute. 

The Diary of Ethel Edie Brown – A modern look at a classic horror monster…I loved the diary entries and alternating timelines. This was a beautifully executed short story. 

Protรฉgรฉ – A journalist meets a renowned doctor in the deep woods…and lives to regret it. This definitely brought to mind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Overall, I enjoyed every single story in this book. 
Recommended! 

4.5 stars rounded to 5
Available now!

The full review can be found on Facebook, Goodreads and Amazon.

It’s free on Kindle Unlimited and available to purchase on Amazon.

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“Your heart is in his hands” artwork.

Recently I’ve been spending a little less time on social media and re-teaching myself to draw (when I’m not reading or writing). So I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you the fruits of my labour.

This piece is inspired by the anti-hero Steve Wrangler from my short story The Heartbreaker.

Here’s a snippet. I hope you like it.

โ€œHave you ever wondered what it’s like to be the subject of your own experiment, Dr Knight?โ€

โ€œWhat do you mean?โ€

โ€œIโ€™m tired of having my heartstrings pulled. You wanted to change the experiment โ€“ reverse the procedure. Iโ€™m ready to oblige.โ€ With a simple flick of my hand, I wrench Doc up. โ€œSweet dreams, Dr Knight.โ€

My hand clasps his heart โ€“ his organ like a spasmed fist. The pumping muscle punches against the breastplate as I pull it toward me. His toes scrape the concrete, as I drag his body in my direction. I grab Doc by the throat, still pulling his heart with the other hand. His body shudders. Blood gurgles in his throat and spills down his chin.

Chest bone cracks.

Rib cage rips open.

Blood soaks his clothes, reddening his crisp white coat. Docโ€™s heart floats into my palm and I crush it with my bare hand.

His limp body drops.

Blood pours from his mouth as he lands on his knees. Crack.

He tumbles over, smashing his head on the ground. He looks pathetic, almost comical, slumped on the concrete with his bulging eyes popping out of his head.

The alarm registers again, followed by the sound of voices.

No time to lose.

I run for the car, jump in and start the engine.

From the short story The Heartbreaker from ‘The Heartbreaker: 13 Dark Fantasy & Horror Stories published by Red Ink Publishing. Extract and illustration by Mark Young. (c) 2020 Mark Young.

Illustration by Mark Young. (c) 2020 Mark Young.

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If I Die Before I Wake Volume 3 Signing

Just wanted to share photos of my first signing with you all. Never expected it to be in my living room without guests but, hey! Needs must.

Signed 500 bookmarks for Sinister Smile Press to coincide with the release of If I Die Before I Wake Volume 3 which is available now in all formats from Amazon.

I’ve been reading the other short stories in this horror anthology and I can honestly say I’m truly blown away by the talent and creativity that’s in this collection. I’m honoured that my story To Hell And Back shares these pages with these amazing authors.

Go ahead, run. Hide, even. No matter. Thereโ€™s no place you can go that she wonโ€™t find you.

A woman scorned. The sanctity of her sanctuary threatened. The betrayal of trustโ€ฆeven loyalty. Donโ€™t ever tell her not to take it personally, because thatโ€™s exactly what it is. Personal. Your first blunder was mistaking her kindness for weakness. Your second was betraying her. The third? Underestimating her. Donโ€™t say we didnโ€™t warn you. Take the plunge into these tales of deadly women who will stop at nothing until vengeance is theirs.

The Better Off Dead series delves into the farthest corners of your mind, where your deepest, darkest fears lurk. These masters of horror will haunt your dreams and stalk your nightmares, taking you to the edge of sanity before pushing you to the brink of madness!

With stories by Steven Pajak, Cara Fox, Chris Contreras Bahnsen, Scotty Milder, J.H. Moncrieff, Scott Harper, Bridgett Nelson, Spencer Richard, Mark Young, Claire Brown, Nikkolas James, Lee Rozelle, Natalie Sierra, R.E. Sargent, Red Lagoe and Renee M.P.T. Kray.

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Devil’s Gulch – A Collaborative Horror Experience is available now!

There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing your own work in print. Overjoyed to have received my author copies and the book looks fantastic. Time to delve in and read the book from start to finish. Care to join me? Order your copy here. Available in paperback, hardback and e-book.

โ€œIt was all in the name of science. Now someone has to clean up the mess.

Stan Armstrong dedicated his entire life to science. Branded as a maverick and a risk-taker by his colleagues, his unorthodox experiments and outlandish theories of time and space resulted in loss of funding and ultimately, his termination from tenure at the university where heโ€™d spent his entire career.โ€‹

Stanโ€™s insatiable quest to explore extreme hypotheses and to prove the unproven were matched only by his neurotic lust to peel back the mysterious layers of time and space to expose the hidden secrets of the universe. Determined to continue his work at all costs, he uproots the life he once knew, liquidates his assets and builds his own lab on a desolate twenty-four-acre rural property in Devilโ€™s Gulch, Utah, no longer bound by government regulation or the prying eyes of small-minded administrators.โ€‹

Whether born from his profound love for science, or his enormous ego, Stan unintentionally unleashes something sinister in Devilโ€™s Gulchโ€”something that was never meant to walk this Earth.โ€

Sinister Smile Press presents Devilโ€™s Gulch, a collaborative horror novel written by Claire Brown, Matthew A. Clarke, T.M. Morgan, Chris Wilkerson, Chisto Healy, Kayla Krantz, Jon Miller, T.M. Brown, Mark Young, Bridgett Nelson, Steven Pajak and R.E. Sargent.

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If I Die Before I Wake Volume 3 hits Number 1!

If I Die Before I Wake Volume 3 takes the top spot in Amazon’s Horror Anthologies New Bestseller chart. The short story collection is garnering some great reviews and is swiftly becoming a firm favourite among horror fans.

It features my story To Hell and Back – about a mother who is forced on a mission into the bowels of Hell in order to save her kidnapped daughter. It was an absolute pleasure to write and I hope readers connect and enjoy the story.

You can check out reviews here: Goodreads and Amazon.

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Books of Horror Anthology Volume 2 is available now!

“BLOOD.

It’s all I can think about.”

Featuring my story Bloodlust – a story about a young man who gets more than he bargained for when dares to venture to a nightclub in the middle of nowhere to satisfy his curiousity in the macabre.

‘The Books of Horror Community Anthology was conceptualized with the idea that anyone that had a story to tell, should be given a platform to do so. Volume one was issued with great success, and those voices were released into the wild for readerโ€™s enjoyment. Now, here we are with volume twoโ€”some authors will be familiar, while others will be brand new. Collected within this book are stories that span the wide genre that is Horror. Crack open the book and delve in, if you dare.’

Available now – click here.

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Devil’s Gulch is available now!

Devilโ€™s Gulch is A Collaborative Horror Novel.

Writing my chapter for this book scared the hell out of me so I canโ€™t wait for you to read the book in itโ€™s entirety. Have you got your copy yet? Available now – link in bio.

โ€œIt was all in the name of science. Now someone has to clean up the mess.

Stan Armstrong dedicated his entire life to science. Branded as a maverick and a risk-taker by his colleagues, his unorthodox experiments and outlandish theories of time and space resulted in loss of funding and ultimately, his termination from tenure at the university where heโ€™d spent his entire career.โ€‹

Stanโ€™s insatiable quest to explore extreme hypotheses and to prove the unproven were matched only by his neurotic lust to peel back the mysterious layers of time and space to expose the hidden secrets of the universe. Determined to continue his work at all costs, he uproots the life he once knew, liquidates his assets and builds his own lab on a desolate twenty-four-acre rural property in Devilโ€™s Gulch, Utah, no longer bound by government regulation or the prying eyes of small-minded administrators.โ€‹

Whether born from his profound love for science, or his enormous ego, Stan unintentionally unleashes something sinister in Devilโ€™s Gulchโ€”something that was never meant to walk this Earth.โ€

Sinister Smile Press presents Devilโ€™s Gulch, a collaborative horror novel written by Claire Brown, Matthew A. Clarke, T.M. Morgan, Chris Wilkerson, Chisto Healy, Kayla Krantz, Jon Miller, T.M. Brown, Mark Young, Bridgett Nelson, Steven Pajak and R.E. Sargent.

Available now: click here.

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If I Die Before I Wake Volume 3 is available now.

Absolutely thrilled to receive my author copy of If I Die Before I Wake Volume 3 from Sinister Smile Press.

Featuring โ€œTo Hell and Backโ€ by yours truly this short horror story sits among 15 tales of deadly women and retribution by 15 other amazing authors.

Former assassin Amelia is forced on a mission by her daughter’s kidnappers. Using every trick in her arsenal she faces the darkest evils and the most impossible dilemmas as she journeys through the bowels of hell in a bid to rescue her daughter.

โ€œTo Hell and Back.โ€ reviews.

Markโ€™s vision of the hell he describes in this story of a former assassin on a mission that matters is not only wrought with descriptions that are the stuff of nightmares, but is also infused with his cheeky sense of style. Mark takes his unlikely heroine on a jaunt through the caverns of hell itself and his visceral descriptions of her experiences bring to mind strong Clive Barker influences, he nails the impossible and horrific with his words! His quote: โ€œThe way back isnโ€™t always the way homeโ€ stuck with me long after I finished reading.”  Ruthann Jagge, author.

“Very imaginative and I enjoyed it because, with the demons and witches and salt circles, it felt like watching an episode of (my guilty pleasure ๐Ÿคญ) Supernatural.” Farrah, Goodreads review.

“A devilish story about a woman, Amelia, who is forced to travel to the underworld to kill a specific prisoner in order to save her kidnapped daughter. This was one crazy ride!” Brigett Nelson, Author and Reviewer.

“…the final confrontation was cool.” Javier, Goodreads review.

“Very cool themes of paranormal, horror, and suspense. Not to mention a kickass main character.” Kayla Krantz, author.

“There are stories that fit into the realm of Fantasy like “To Hell and Back” with its epic quest that plays with what it means to ensure survival” Hollis Queens, Goodreads review.

Check out reviews and ratings for the full volume here at: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51269007-if-i-die-before-i-wake

Get the book everyoneโ€™s talking about. Available now to buy in paperback, hardback, kindle and free on kindle unlimited. Click here.

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If I Die Before I Wake Volume 3 Launch Party has begun!

To celebrate the launch of “If I Die Before I Wake Volume 3” Sinister Smile Press are running a week long online launch party culminating in a live event streaming on Saturday 24th October 2020.

“The publication of ๐™„๐™› ๐™„ ๐˜ฟ๐™ž๐™š ๐˜ฝ๐™š๐™›๐™ค๐™ง๐™š ๐™„ ๐™’๐™–๐™ ๐™š: ๐™๐™–๐™ก๐™š๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐˜ฟ๐™š๐™–๐™™๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™’๐™ค๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ž๐™—๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ is just around the corner, and ๐“ข๐“ฒ๐“ท๐“ฒ๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ฎ๐“ป ๐“ข๐“ถ๐“ฒ๐“ต๐“ฎ ๐“Ÿ๐“ป๐“ฎ๐“ผ๐“ผ is excitedly celebrating the third volume of our ๐•ญ๐–Š๐–™๐–™๐–Š๐–— ๐•บ๐–‹๐–‹ ๐•ฏ๐–Š๐–†๐–‰ series! We hope you’ll join us as we share excerpts from the included stories, challenge your brains with horror trivia, give you glimpses into the lives of our elite authors, and offer a variety of prizes!On ๐’๐š๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐๐š๐ฒ, ๐Ž๐œ๐ญ๐จ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ’๐ญ๐ก , we’re featuring a two-hour live event (from 1 to 3 PM CST) with TWELVE of our SIXTEEN authors, ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐-๐ฐ๐ข๐ง๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐‰.๐‡. ๐Œ๐จ๐ง๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐Ÿ๐Ÿ! We hope you’ll celebrate with us and attend the launch party…there you’ll be able to ask questions and have the opportunity to win some really nice prizes! Launch week kicks off on Monday, October 19, 2020, and ends following the two-hour live event on Saturday, October 24, 2020. Make plans to join us, won’t you?” Sinister Smile Press.

I will be one of the twelve authors attending the live event and I’ll be featuring in a short video interview. So I hope you will be able to pop in throughout the week and say hi! For details and to register your interest please click here for the Facebook Event page.

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